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World Cup: Ghana's game-winning penalty kick almost costs him an ear

June 15, 2010 | 10:07 am
World-cup-logo So there was Rosli Mat Noor, seated comfortably in front of his television in Malaysia watching Ghana play Serbia in a World Cup game several thousand miles away. All was well in his world.

And there was Mohammad Rizal, all of 17 and watching the same game, albeit while juggling a soccer ball.

After that things become a bit murky, as is often the case in Malaysia's northern Kelantan state.

The game being watched was tied at zero with time ticking away when Serbia's Zdravko Kuzmanovic saw fit to leap into the air and handle the ball, possibly by accident. Awarded a penalty kick, Ghana accepted the 85th-minute gift and Asamoah Gyan promptly dispatched it to earn the African team the victory.

 What happened in Malaysia next was more interesting than what happened in Pretoria, South Africa.

Rizal, a Serbia fan, lashed out at the ball he was juggling and watched in horror as it flew as straight and true as Gyan's penalty kick, shattering the window at which Rosli Mat Noor, his father, was sitting.

Glass flew everywhere. One shard came within millimeters of slicing off Rosli Mat Noor's right ear. As it was, he was pierced in the ear and had to be rushed off to a hospital for it to be stitched up.

This is all according to Malaysia's Bernama news agency. True or not, it is too good a tale not to pass along. Of such things are World Cup memories made.

-- Grahame L. Jones in Johannesburg, South Africa